By Lane Roberts
This past Sunday, HBO’s breakout series, Girls, following the lives of four young women trying to survive—personally and professionally—in New York City, returned with its second season.
Creator and star Lena Dunham has received both praise (four Emmy nominations and a Golden Globe nod) and flack for her portrayal of Hannah Horvath, a flawed and naïve narcissist desperate to find love and success—failing most of the time.
The hotly anticipated second season returns with Hannah no longer dating awkward, temperamental Adam Sackler (Adam Driver) despite being his caretaker after his car accident.
Season two also sees Jessa Johansson (Jemima Kirke) attempting to play the part of wife to Thomas-John (Chris O’Dowd), Shoshanna Shapiro (Zosia Mamet) discovering herself after losing her virginity, and Marnie Michaels (Allison Williams) coping with the loss of both her long-time boyfriend Charlie Dattolo (Christopher Abbott) and her job.
Perhaps the most talked about topic of last season was the show’s frank depiction of painfully awkward sex on the small screen. Dunham has been applauded for unabashedly displaying her perfectly normal and healthy, yet heretofore unseen on television or film, figure frequently throughout the series.
Dunham’s statements that she simply isn’t very fussed about her naked body have only canonized her more among her admirers, who recognize the need for healthier expectations of female beauty.
Girls’ propensity for honest depictions of the lives of these four women in their 20s does not stop with their sexuality. Therein lies, I believe, the success of the show.
While programs like Sex and the City and Gossip Girl certainly succeed in entertaining their audiences, it is obvious that their representations of women living lavishly in New York City are wholly unrealistic.
Girls is unashamed of—and more interested in showing—these girls at their worst and then revealing how they find their way back to each other.
So, whether you have eagerly awaited the premiere of season two or not, it seems as though Lena Dunham has succeeded in fulfilling her characters’ ambition of becoming “at least a voice of [her] generation.”